Every lover of cooking has favorite ingredients that are on hand in the cupboard or fridge consistently. Throughout the past couple of years, I have definitely discovered mine but they came to me sorf of indirectly. I began to noticing that I was often reaching for the same few ingredients on a regular basis and sometimes even sneaking them into receipes when they weren't even called for. They go into almost everything I make as they all have their unique qualities that lend that special something to certain dishes and sauces.
Okay first we'll start with the basic. Lean poultry and eggs. They are beautiful blank canvases that you can turn into award winners given some high quality seasonings. Second, the freezer goods. My go to veggies that never let me down and are a screamin' bargain! Frozen spinach and sweet bell pepper mix. They are stocked in my freezer at all times. I use them in egg dishes, meatloafs, fajitas, veggie burgers, etc. Thirdly, onions and garlic. What can't you put those in? They truly complete a meal. Next up are two favorite condomits that add tang, acidity and brightness. I'm talking about red wine vinegar and dijon mustard. Two must haves for homemade salad dressing. Add to those good quality olive oil for healthy omega-3s and a must have for whatever you're making. Following is onion powder, sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns. Onion powder gives whatever I'm cooking a great hit of flavor without tasting overwhelming. Beans! I've made vegetarian "meatloafs" out of lentils and veggies alone. They are so versatile, so nutritious and they lend a creamy, rich mouthfeel to whatever you put them in without the fat. And what can't you do with beans. Close behind on the creamy train, butternut squash. Mmmm... Sweet, buttery, butternut squash. Mash it into meatloafs, puree it for a soup, eat it straight out of the oven kissed with golden flecks from the oven and toped with sea salt. Finally, if I must bring this to a close.... Freshly grated parmesan cheese. It delivers flavor like nothing else! I treat myself to good quality cheese on a regular basis. The better they are the less you use and all the more satifying. No pre-shredded, processed, cellulose coated crap that doesn't even taste like cheese.
It's really hard to pick and choose favorites but given the ingredients above masterpieces are created!
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